Charter told a family their new house was ready for internet, then sent them a $16,000 bill to activate it

Oh, Charter: Chad Pierce and his family bought a house in Newaygo, Michigan, but first they called their local cable monopoly, Charter/Spectrum, and confirmed verbally, online and in writing that the new house could get internet access. Read the rest

11,341 abandoned rape kits identify 817 serial rapists in one Michigan county

In Michigan's Wayne County, Prosecutor Kym Worthy has spent years processing 11,341 rape kits. The kits, found in 2009, were forgotten in a police storage warehouse, where they were routinely dumped without investigation.

Over 800 serial rapists, criminals who have struck 10-15 times without being stopped, were identified. 127 convictions have been made this far.

The Detroit Free Press' Nancy Kaffer interviewed Worthy:

Q: All the things you were talking about, the better tracking system, the new guidelines for when rape kits get tested ... in the National Institute of Justice report on the backlog (by Michigan State University Professor Rebecca Campbell), the big takeaway there was that too often, officers didn't believe victims, and had used disbelief as a way to triage their workload.

A: They just closed cases, even cases where I think they believed the victim ... They closed cases because the women had worked as prostitutes or had mental illness issues or had substance abuse. Didn't believe them, didn't care, and this was one issue that led to the backlog of these kits.

Q: That's something we look for in certain victims — when the victim is a teenage boy of color, or a woman who has been raped, we want them to be perfect. They can't have had a drink or have worked as a prostitute, and if they have, there's a mindset that makes them almost ineligible to be a victim.

A: One of the reasons we have these untested rape kits ... and I can use Detroit as an example, 86% of our victims in these untested kits are people of color. Read the rest

12 Michigan cops, looking for a 40-year-old white woman, draw guns on 11 year old black girl and put her in cuffs

A dozen Michigan cops from Grand Rapids broke into a family home and rushed an 11 year old black girl, pointing guns at her and cuffing her while her terrified mother begged them not to shoot her. Read the rest

Judge awards Michigan repeat rapist joint custody of child he fathered

A Michigan repeat rapist was awarded joint custody of the child he impregnated one of his victims with 8 years ago.

Via Patch Michigan:

A Michigan man accused of raping a 12-year-old nine years ago has been awarded joint custody of the child he fathered in the attack, according to media reports. The victim’s attorney is fighting the decision by Sanilac County Circuit Judge Gregory S. Ross under the federal Rape Survivor Custody Act. The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Michigan and perhaps the nation.

In a new development Tuesday, Ross stayed the controversial order in the case against Christopher Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, after widespread outrage, The Detroit News reported. A hearing will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17.

The case has been poorly handled from the beginning, Rebecca Kiessling, the attorney for the now 21-year-old woman has said. Mirasolo was arrested about a month after the incident when the girl found out she was pregnant, but he took a plea deal for a lesser charge: third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

A rape conviction would have put Mirasolo behind bars for anywhere from 25 years to life. Instead, Mirasolo served only six-and-a-half months in the county jail. The girl and her family were told the plea deal was offered and that first-time sex offenders don’t get prison time “because people come out worse after they go there,” Kiessling told The Detroit News.

After Mirasolo was released from jail, he raped again and served four years in prison, according to “The Steve Gruber Show,” a Lansing-area radio program that initially reported the judge’s decision.

Read the rest

This Michigan-shaped Adirondack chair dispenses cold beverage cans

Woodworker Matt Thompson has been making Adirondack chairs in the shape of Michigan, the lower peninsula at least, for a few years. Recently, he added the state's upper peninsula to the chair's overall design in the form of a beer/soda can cooler and dispenser.

From Michigan-based site Mlive:

The chair is made of cedar, and Thompson estimates he spent somewhere between $400-500 in wood to create it.

"It's not very practical to sell this or mass produce this," Thompson said.

The holding chamber can hold a full six pack of 12-ounce cans. The ice contained will keep the cans chilled for approximately eight hours, Thompson said. There's a full drainage system that prevents the ice from spilling down the chute.

"Cedar is a good insulator," Thompson said.

(reddit) Read the rest

Foxconn has a long history of lying about its plans to open plants and create jobs

Foxconn has wrung a promise of $3 billion in corporate welfare from the state of Wisconsin, but even that is no guarantee that it will open a factory there, even if it swears up and down that this is in the cards. Read the rest

Flint, Michigan airport assailant shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he stabbed officer, FBI says 'an act of terrorism'

A police officer was stabbed in the neck today by a man at Bishop Int'l. Airport in Flint, Michigan. The FBI says the attack is now being investigated as an act of terrorism, and that while it's early in the investigation, they view the suspect "as a lone wolf attacker."

Read the rest

Feds admit they used secret anti-terror mass surveillance tool to catch an undocumented waiter

Rudy Carcamo-Carranza was an undocumented restaurant worker in Michigan wanted for a DUI and a hit-and-run; the FBI and ICE used IMSI catchers -- powerful, secretive cellphone tracking tools that the agencies bill as a kind of superweapon in the war on terror -- to catch him and put him up for deportation. Read the rest

Flint threatens to take away 8,000 families' homes for failure to pay bills for poisoned water

The city of Flint, Michigan notoriously poisoned a generation of its children with lead in the water supply, having ignored and covered up reports from whistleblowers and denied complaints from residents. Read the rest

Sassy Trump: Mitchigan

Sassy Trump is back, this time giving a beautiful, very beautiful speech at a spectacular auto-mo-bile business factory in Mitchigan, as he pronounces it.

Read the rest

Michigan young Republicans apologize for Hitler/Holocaust-themed Valentine

Central Michigan University's College Republicans threw a Valentines event where attendees got gift bags prepared by the university's young, upstanding Republicans, including this one, bearing a likeness of Adolf Hitler and the message, "my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews." Read the rest

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's MIDAS program had a 93% error rate and falsely accused 20,000 workers of unemployment fraud

Under the cruel austerity of Michigan governor Rick Snyder -- whose policies led to the mass-poisonings of children in Flint -- any claims for unemployment insurance were vigorously investigated, with the state operating on the assumption that any worker who claimed a benefit was probably committing fraud. Read the rest

The Toadman of Clawson, Michigan

I'd like for you to meet one of my favorite people in the whole world.   He's a private guy and though he's okay with my writing this post, he'd rather I kept his identity a secret for now.  He calls himself The Toadman.   But I should warn you, what you are about to read isn't what you'd expect.   He doesn't lick toads for fun, eat amphibians or live under a bridge.  He simply loves toads more than anything in the world and what he does in his free time proves it.

If you ever meet The Toadman, he'll seem just like anyone else in the Motor City.  He'll probably talk about Michigan State University, the Detroit Tigers and how great it is to live in his hometown of Clawson.  But what you won't get right out of the gate is what I call his "green side".  That's the side of him that's comfortable discussing his life-long passion.

Since we were kids, The Toadman has been obsessed with frogs and toads.  The day I got my drivers license he talked me into traveling 20 miles north to a swampy area because "that's where they have the best ones".  I know it sounds strange, but just as a bird watcher is able to detect the presence of certain birds by how they chirp, The Toadman is able to do the same with toads.  It's uncanny really.

Did I mention that for the past 2 decades he's lived with toads and sometimes sets up professional photo shoots with them?   Read the rest

Kid who found a knife in a used backpack suspended for turning it in at school

Kyler Davies is in the seventh grade in the Coldwater Community Schools district in Coldwater, MI; his mom buys her kids (whom she fosters) some of their school supplies used at Goodwill, including Kyler's backpack, which turned out to have a knife in it. Read the rest

Profile of People's Ride: a co-operative, driver-owned alternative to Uber

People's Ride is a co-op ride-hailing company in Grand Rapids, Michigan: drivers own the service in common and collectively decide how to spend its profits (for example, on deploying an app to go with its website); for-profit competitors like Uber take 30% commissions from their drivers and deliver them to investors, while People's Ride spends all the revenue paying drivers and improving the service. Read the rest

Bill criminalizing anal and oral sex passes Michigan Senate

Michigan is one of the last states to keep an "anti-sodomy" law on the books, which criminalizes oral and anal sex -- most states dropped theirs when the Supreme Court ruled that law like these are unconstitutional. Read the rest

Michael Moore: Flint needs a revolution, not bottled water

Michael Moore, perhaps Flint, MI's most famous son, has written an open letter to people who are heartsick at the thought of a whole generation of mostly poor, mostly black children being given permanent brain damage through lead poisoning, thanks to the deliberate indifference of the state's Republican administration and the greedy people who elected them. Read the rest

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